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Thread: Time to AirVenture to leave Wisconsin?

  1. #1

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    Time to AirVenture to leave Wisconsin?

    Question: Are you somewhat concerned by all the things going on in Wisconsin. Kenosha. Waukesha. Madison. Milwaukee. Etc. Maybe it is time for EAA to consider leaving Wisconsin, and taking their (our) money with them. Maybe it is time to send signals to politicians that are accepting the kinds of things we are seeing in Wisconsin. There are plenty of states that are not making the kind of negative news that Wisconsin has been making, that would make good candidates for hosting EAA Headquarters, and a "New AirVenture". Why not think outside the box and consider the possibilities. New opportunities. New scenery. New food vendors. New logistics. New destinations. Etc. Etc. Maybe some place like South Dakota - perhaps Rapid City area. Beautiful area. Lots of recreation possibilities. Large airfield. No state income tax. (P.S. I'm not a resident of South Dakota, just a thought to get some ideas going).

  2. #2

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    No - I am NOT in the least bit concerned - nor do I believe there is substantial reason to blame "politicians" for "accepting" the felonious actions of non-politicians. I view AirVenture as one of the most open, friendly, NON-political, accommodating and welcoming to ALL events one could imagine.
    Last edited by CHICAGORANDY; 11-24-2021 at 08:54 AM.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    MEdwards's Avatar
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    Excellent, Randy. And let’s keep it that way.
    Mike E

  4. #4
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Infrastructure and logistical effects would be overwhelming. The airport at Oshkosh has been optimized for the show. All the permanent structures would need to be erected at the new site, and storage for temporary structures would need to be built. A new camping facility would be needed, procedures for crowd and aircraft control would be necessary. The year-round planning support would be much more difficult remotely, unless the plan is to move EAA itself (and the museum...) to the new location. Yes, it would require new food vendors, but their ability to support such a massive effort would be in question. Oshkosh and environs are QUITE accustomed to supporting "The EAA," and people at the new location wouldn't know what they are getting into.

    The exception might be places that are already accustomed to putting on big shows like this. Sturgis comes to mind. But it really should be somewhere where the big show is put on at the local airport.

    The fact that there is no income tax in South Dakota is immaterial; EAA is a corporation and they're treated differently.

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEdwards View Post
    Excellent, Randy. And let’s keep it that way.
    Mike E
    I mean really.... I live IN Chicago proper, inner-city, Southwest Side..... Does ANYONE out there think I feel 'unsafe' in Oshkosh or anywhere in a MANY mile radius of there??? LOL
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post
    I mean really.... I live IN Chicago proper, inner-city, Southwest Side..... Does ANYONE out there think I feel 'unsafe' in Oshkosh or anywhere in a MANY mile radius of there??? LOL
    I think the intent was to "send a message to politicians".

    I do not think abandoning 10's of millions of dollars of infrastructure at OSH, relocating EAA, and throwing away a 50 year tradition is the way to "send a message to politicians".

    Somehow that idea smacks of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  7. #7

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    Some points of clarification seem to be in order. This is not meant to get anyone excited. Only to bring a concept forward for thoughtful consideration.

    I believe that as a group of aviators, (who take pride in self responsibility as evidenced by the wonderful condition of AirVenture grounds with every little piece of trash picked up), that the recent events in Wisconsin provide an opportunity for self reflection, and a chance to ask ourselves, "At what point do we, as a collective group, draw the line on politicians, such as District Attorneys, that are in fact elected, that are pushing for "no cash bail or low bail", and turning repeat criminals out on society, to commit such mayhem as mowing down innocent children in a Christmas Parade?".

    If we ask ourselves such questions, again as a group of responsible aviators, then a next question perhaps could be "What can we do as a group, to send a signal, that this type of social action (ie, no cash bail and/or low bail) is not acceptable to us?". In my opinion, about the only way to get the attention of politicians is with money, or lack of money if it is removed from their coffers.

    This is not about feeling "unsafe" at AirVenture. If this is an interpretation from the initial post, then it would be good to carefully reread the initial post.

    In terms of "no state income taxes in South Dakota", this has nothing to do with EAA as a corporate entity. Rather, it is about EAA employees, that would realize an instant (approx.) 7% pay increase, since they would not pay income tax. However, at this point it is best not to get tunnel vision for a single state/location, since the use of South Dakota was only an example. However, South Dakota is certainly pro-business, and the Black Hills offer many new dimensions to consider for such an event.

    In terms of the infrastructure, this is a reasonable point of discussion. While I would tend to disagree with the noted number of "10's of millions of dollars of infrastructure". Let's step back and really consider what is there, simply because the location is an airport. Versus what has been added, in support of AirVenture (a once a year event). I would submit that if one looks through this unbiased prism, that the main infrastructure items are already there because we are talking about an airport. The camping area is not that expensive, and it is possible to move the vendor buildings. In terms of EAA moving, yes, the museum would be a factor for deliberation. Offices are just offices, and can be easily substituted. In addition, when courting other states, it may be that they would offer "enticing packages, including matching grants" that help with the economic implications - if not completely offset the cost of moving. In addition, it seems as though all one has to do is mention that the "New AirVenture" will be "energy efficient and green", and Federal money will probably pour into the EAA coffers to help make it happen based on the trillions that are being dolled out.

    Traditions are just that. Traditions. At some point, it is nice to move on, and find new possibilities, and opportunities. Instead of remaining locked into the same old mindset. Especially with all the negative national headlines that are associated with Wisconsin.

    Finally, I would add that simply talking about this, and exploring opportunities, especially at the EAA administrative level (ie, letting the Wisconsin powers that be -- know that EAA is considering new options) could send a message, in and of itself, to the political powers in Wisconsin. I would further submit, that if other businesses did the same thing, perhaps things would change for the better. In other words, vote with feet, and money.

    These are complex issues, and we as aviators may want to consider stepping up to the plate, and convey our lack of confidence in elected officials that turn criminals loose to prey on society. As aviators, we can do this in order to press for change. Just was we have done and continue to do with other political issues, such as Basic Med, Unleaded Aviation Fuel, Sport Pilot, etc. At what point is Enough - Enough?

    Take care...

  8. #8
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    I think the intent was to "send a message to politicians".

    I do not think abandoning 10's of millions of dollars of infrastructure at OSH, relocating EAA, and throwing away a 50 year tradition is the way to "send a message to politicians".
    Reminds me of the (probably apocryphal) story about a Hollywood producer, when a screenwriter was pressing a movie project on it because "It sends an important message."

    The producer supposedly said, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union....."

    Ron Wanttaja

  9. #9
    MEdwards's Avatar
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    EAA should not be used to send messages to politicians on any subject besides aviation and the association itself.

  10. #10
    Dana's Avatar
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    I'm quite sure we could come up with a long list of corrupt or incompetent politicians and officials in every one of the 50 states, it's a sad fact of life. But it's not EAA's problem, and not something EAA should be concerning itself with, unless it directly impacts Airventure or aviation. EAA's charter doesn't include being "woke" and I hope it never does, with all the silly witch hunts it inevitably leads to.

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